About Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Frankie Valli is an American singer and actor, known as the frontman of The Four Seasons beginning in 1960. He is known for his unusually powerful tenor/lead.
Valli scored 29 Top 40 hits with The Four Seasons, one Top 40 hit under The Four Seasons alias The Wonder Who?, and nine Top 40 hits as a solo artist. As a member of The Four Seasons, Valli's number-one hits included "Sherry" , "Big Girls Don't Cry" , "Walk Like a Man" , "Rag Doll" and "December, 1963 " . Valli's recording of the song "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" reached number two in 1967. As a solo artist, Valli scored number-one hits with the songs "My Eyes Adored You" and "Grease" .
Valli, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Bob Gaudio – the original members of The Four Seasons – were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
Valli was born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio, on May 3, 1934, the eldest of three sons to an Italian family in the First Ward of Newark, New Jersey. His father, Anthony Castelluccio, was a barber and display designer for Lionel model trains; his mother, Mary Rinaldi, was a homemaker and beer company employee. He was inspired to take up a singing career at the age of seven after his mother took him to see the young Frank Sinatra at the Paramount Theater in Manhattan, New York City. One of his early favorite singers was "Texas" Jean Valli, from whom he adopted his stage name. Until he could support himself with music, he worked as a barber.
Valli's birth year has been called into question. Valli never addressed the issue himself, until the 2007 posting at the Official Frankie Valli Site, sponsored by his current record label, Universal Records. Much of the previous official publicity surrounding his career used 1937 as the birth year. Other sources, such as the Bear Family Records release, titled "The Four Lovers" , as well as a 1965 mug shot, available through The Smoking Gun, all identify his year of birth as 1934.
Valli began his singing career in the early 1950s with the Variety Trio . Valli's desire to sing in public was initially granted when, having heard Valli sing, the group offered him a guest spot when the group performed. In late 1952, the Variety Trio disbanded and Valli, along with Tommy DeVito, became part of the house band at The Strand in New Brunswick, New Jersey. For his part, Valli played bass and sang.
He cut his first single, "My Mother's Eyes" , in 1953 as "Frankie Valley", a variation on a name he adopted from "Texas" Jean Valli, a female hillbilly singer. As discussed in a 2014 article, "Frankie said in 2010 that Jean took him to meet music publishers Paul and Dave Kapp, telling them he was her brother. As a result, his first single was listed under 'Frankie Valley', and the name stuck—though he eventually changed it to the same spelling ... ."
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